Monday, March 31, 2014

Contesting election from two places might become no more a cakewalk

The Supreme Court has sought the response of the Centre and the Election Commission to a public interest writ petition, seeking to quash provisions of the Representation of the People Act which permit a candidate to contest elections from two constituencies.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam issued the notice on the petition filed by the Voters Party, a registered party, challenging the constitutional validity of Section 33 of the RP Act, which allows candidates to contest two seats, and Section 70, which permits a candidate to give up one if he wins both seats.
The petitioner wanted the court to direct the Centre to repeal the provisions that allow a person to file nomination papers from two constituencies, and in case he manages to win from both, “he/she is bound by the existing law to vacate one of the seats, thereby forcing an unwarranted by-election and its related expenses.”
The petitioner said it acts against the fundamental principles of representative democracy, besides distorting the faith of the people who have elected him. In such a situation, the elected candidate should bear the cost of the entire by-election in the vacated constituency.
“The provision of law is very often misused by the contestants as a security/insurance at the cost of the general public/taxpayer, which is forced to bear the burden of a candidate,” it said.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mission: Impossible - II (2000): stunts are thrilling but plot is dubious.

My review about this movie was long planned by me. But I went through several websites to look into some details of this movie. I found that some scenes of this movie (one being scene, in which Naya meets Ethan at the race course) were copy of some earlier hollywood movies. Now, you might be thinking that not only Indians copy. I also agree.
Apart from it, there is a glitch of overuse of mask in this movie. Even at the climax, you will be bound to ask "how did Hunt get the mask of Stamp". 
But, all I can say is that the stunts shown in this movie. The rock climbing scene in the starting of the movie was performed by Tom Cruise, without any stunt double. Another stunt during the injection gun scene and other in the climax are also thrilling. Even one of the scene has been copied in Dhoom: 2. Also I love the scene, in which Hunt blast the door, using a satchel charge and makes entry to disturb the deal (which is marked by a bird flying into the room and flares appear in the eyes of Ambrose).
Also the music given by Hans Zimmer has made me a fan of him. The tracks like Bare Island, Mano-a-mano, Injection Gun define the art of Zimmer. Apart from this, how can we forget the song Take a Look Around by Limp Bizkit? This song has used the M:I theme track very beautifully and in an interesting way. 

Behind Scene Facts (iMDB):

  1. John Woo's final cut of the film clocked in at 3-1/2 hours. The studio balked at this length and told him that the final length could not exceed 120 min. This could explain why there are so many plot holes and continuity errors in the theatrical cut.
  2. For the "knife-in-the-eye" scene, Tom Cruise insisted that a real knife be used, and that it stop exactly one quarter-inch from his eyeball, instead of somewhere vaguely near his eye, as John Woo suggested. The knife itself was connected to a cable that was measured carefully in order to achieve the effect and Cruise insisted that Dougray Scott use all his strength in the ensuing struggle.
  3. The famous rock climbing sequence was filmed at Dead Horse Point in Utah. Tom Cruise was on cables which were then digitally removed. Ron Kauk was the climbing double and the overhang stunt was performed by main stunt double, Keith Campbell. John Woo was so scared each time but "Tom insisted on doing it".
  4. The scene where Tom Cruise "peels off his face" to reveal Dougray Scott was achieved in one shot by shooting both actors against a green screen. Cruise, not wearing a mask, was simply told to place his hand in a pre-arranged position under his chin then pull his hand across his face. Scott wore a plain mask with sensors that could provide a computer with a three-dimensional view of his face. He then peeled off this mask to finish the scene. Cruise's face was superimposed on the mask as it is pulled away and the two images morphed together in the computer; the background of the 747 cabin was added in to replace the green screen. (Watch the scene with frame advance and you will see a slight transitional 'swirl' on the mask halfway through the scene). Kevin Yagher contributed some more traditional latex mask effects for other face-peeling scenes. 
  5. This is the first movie that Metallica ever agreed to write a song for. 
  6. Dougray Scott was originally slated to play Wolverine in X-Men (2000), but had to pull out when shooting on this film went into overtime.
  7. The part of Mission Commander Swanbeck was originally offered to Ian McKellen. He was not able to accept the role, due to a prior theatre engagement in London and the part eventually went to Anthony Hopkins.
  8. Luther Stickell's line "It's that simple, huh?" after hearing Ethan Hunt's explanation of what he thinks "Chimera" is was a joke about Mission: Impossible (1996), which was widely criticized for having an overly complicated plot. 
  9. Tom Cruise's then-wife Nicole Kidman suggested Thandie Newton (Kidman's co-star in Flirting (1991)) as the love interest for Ethan Hunt. She was cast before the script was written.
  10. SERIES TRADEMARK: At Hunt's meeting with Mission Commander Swanbeck, Hopkins offers him an espresso or cappuccino. At the preliminary meeting with Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible (1996), Hunt asked if they could get a cappuccino machine.
  11. The sunglasses that Tom Cruise wears at the climax of the climbing scene providing him with his mission brief are modified Oakley Romeos that are now discontinued. They were modified for their appearance in the film in three ways: the ear stems are different (the commercially available model had curved ear stems while the movie version has straight stems), the lenses used in the film aren't mirrored (to prevent the film crew being seen in the reflection) and the most obvious modification being the earpieces grafted on to the frames.
  12. According to Robert Towne, much of his script was written around action scenes that director John Woo told him he wanted to able to direct in the movie. 
  13. Anthony Hopkins' character becomes the first person in any Mission Impossible episode or movie to actually use the phrase "mission: impossible." Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga also wrote the screenplay for Star Trek: First Contact (1996) which featured the first cinematic use in dialogue of the phrase "star trek." 
  14. Andrew Lesnie was the film's original cinematographer. He left less than a month into shooting, due to "stylistic differences" with director John Woo.
  15. The movie initially was rated "R", but was re rated "PG-13" after many action scenes were cut and the violence was trimmed down considerably. 
  16. Oliver Stone was the first director attached to this film in the period after the first film's release. He reportedly wrote a treatment but backed out due to scheduling conflicts resulting from Tom Cruise's prolonged stint on Eyes Wide Shut (1999).
  17. SERIES TRADEMARK: Ethan is suspended by a cable while infiltrating the Biocyte Labs. See also Mission: Impossible (1996) and Mission: Impossible III (2006). 
  18. Steve Zahn was originally cast as Billy Baird.
  19. Production was delayed because Tom Cruise was shooting Eyes Wide Shut (1999) with Stanley Kubrick for over a year.
  20. Both Tom Cruise and John Woo attended a test screening of this movie in Warrenville, IL. 
  21. Stuart Baird did uncredited re-editing work on this film and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) for Paramount in order to get the job of directing Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).
  22. Triumph Motorcycles supplied the Speed Triple and Daytona models used as Tom Cruise and Dougray Scott's rides respectively.
  23. The knife used in the fight scene at the end of the film is a Kershaw Amphibian.
  24. A brief shot of children playing "Ring Around the Roses" is shown. This is a subtle reference to the plague that would ensue should the Chimera virus be released onto the world. According to popular belief, "Ring Around the Roses" was a kids' song based on the medieval Black Plague. In this theory, the "ring around the roses" represented a ring of people around a grave with roses on it. "Pocket full of posies" refers to people carrying flowers in their pockets during the plague, to combat the stench of the corpses in the streets. "Ashes, ashes" refers to the mass burnings of bodies. "We all fall down" refers to the multitudes of people dying. In fact, the rhyme dates from Victorian times, and originally did not contain these specific references, which were created in improvisational children's playing. Nevertheless, the legend connecting the song with the plague persists.
  25. In the final battle, the building's security systems shows a problem in Level 42, the name of a 1980s band with hits that include "Lessons in Love" and "Something About You".
  26. Shipped to theaters under the fictitious name "Doll House" to deter potential thieves.

Sarfarosh (1999): tells how a dedicated police force should operate.

Though Aamir Khan had performed the role of an IPS offices before this movie in Baazi, this movie paints a good, inspirational and true picture of the crime branch police of Maharashtra. 
The early part of this movie entails the struggle of an honest officer behind his becoming an IPS officer. All civil services aspirants, particularly, those aspiring to become an IPS officer must watch this movie and learn how a good cop reacts to various problems regarding the heinous crimes like illegal drug and arms trafficking. 
Coming to the performances, no doubt, Aamir has played a very balanced and perfect role of an IPS officer. This role is better than what he did in Baazi. Mukesh Rishi (in the character of inspector Salim) has proved that he is suitable not only for negative roles but also for positive roles that too of an honest cop. Nasiruddin Shah (in the character of Gulfaam Hasan) is again a gem of the Indian cinema industry that performs for movies of classes and movies of masses. In this movie, which belongs to classes and masses, he proves to be villain of classes. Same can be said about Govind Namdev (in the character of Veeran). 
Believe me, this movie has everything- a good plot, all good actors and good music (specially song Zindagi Maut Na Ban Jaaye). It is a must watch for all bollywood fans

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finally they won the right to vote.

The Supreme Court recently, opened the doors for defence personnel in peace stations to get registered as voters in constitutency of their posting and pulled up the Election Commission for its "rigid stand" which was coming in the way of "right to vote of service personnel".
After an hour-long deliberation, the Election Commission budged from its stand and made a statement that those service personnel who have not made declaration till now to cast vote through postal ballot "may register themselves as 'General Voters' in respect of constituencies where election process has not yet commenced". The apex court in its interim order clarified that "this (order) is subject to such service personnel being posted at peace station on January 1, 2014 and continued to be posted till date". "We further record and accept the statement of the senior counsel (of EC) that in that situation the tenure posting of three years for such services personnel and their family shall not be insisted upon," a bench comprising justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph said in the order.
The bench asked the Centre to provide within two days from the date of verdict the data of such peace stations to the Election Commission and also take all necessary steps to make postal ballot effective. The apex court made it clear that the "Election Commission is within its power to issue instruction/guidelines prohibiting political parties from campaigning in peace stations". 
During the hearing, the bench asked the Commission to facilitate the process to allow defence personnel to caste their votes in coming general elections and raised questions on its reluctance for not allowing them to cast votes in the constitutency of their posting by putting in condition of working there at least three years and living with family. It said the EC should not take a hard and technical stand so that the statutory right of citizens is taken away. "What surprises us is that when the EC desires 100 per cent polling why should the Commission do anything which deprives a person his right to vote. There must be some reasons behind it. It is a very important Constitutional right and one should not be deprived of it," it said.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

NSEL Scam: SEBI, MCX-SX and CBI enquiry.

Difference between Spot market and future market.

Also called the cash market or the physical market, the spot market is where assets are sold for cash and delivered immediatelyThe two day settlement process is due to the fact that the bank requires two business days notice to process payments due to time zones and currency cut-off times[1].
Contracts sold on this market, which is also known as the “cash market” or “physical market,” are also effective immediately. Purchases are settled in cash at the current prices set by the market, as opposed to the price at the time of delivery. An example of a spot commodity that is regularly sold is crude oil; it is sold at the current prices, and physically delivered later.
Futures rates and contracts are a little different. A futures contract between two parties sets the price now, but the whole transaction doesn’t have to be settled immediately. The two parties can agree to settle at a future date more than a day or two down the line. When the agreed upon time is reached the transaction will be paid for and the commodity, currency or security delivered.

Difference between spot market and forward market.

Futures and forwards are financial contracts which are very similar in nature but there exist a few important differences:
  • Futures contracts are highly standardized whereas the terms of each forward contract can be privately negotiated.
  • Futures are traded on an exchange whereas forwards are traded over-the-counter.
  • There is chance of counterparty risk in forward contracts. In any agreement between two parties, there is always a risk that one side will break a promise on the terms of the agreement. Participants may be unwilling or unable to follow through the transaction at the time of settlement. This risk is known as counterparty risk. Since, in a futures contract, the exchange clearing house itself acts as the counterparty to both parties in the contract,this risk is avoidable. 
  • Forward contracts, on the other hand, do not have such mechanisms in place. Since forwards are only settled at the time of delivery, the profit or loss on a forward contract is only realized at the time of settlement, so the credit exposure can keep increasing. Hence, a loss resulting from a default is much greater for participants in a forward contract.

Wrongdoings at NSEL.

(National Spot Exchange Ltd). The Jignesh Shah-led NSEL is a company promoted by the Financial Technologies India Ltd and the NAFED. It commenced its operation in 2008. The scam came to picture in July, 2013 as a result of huge defaults in payments to investors.
  • It was offering 25-34-day contracts for commodity trading while a maximum of 11 days are allowed
  • Warehouse receipts of commodity stocks were being issued without warehouses actually having stocks
  • Independent investigations have shown benami investors and owners of warehouses
  • NSEL has to pay back Rs 5,600 crore of 13,000 investors’ money, has already defaulted twice
  • Jignesh Shah may face the brunt and be held responsible. But can’t discount his high contacts for now. 

Actions taken by regulators. 

Exchange owner Financial Technologies (FTIL) was deemed not fit by regulators in December, 2013 to run India's biggest commodities bourse and ordered to sell most of its holding. Forward Markets Commission (FMC), which oversees commodities markets, removed its "fit and proper" designation for both FTIL and its chief executive Jignesh Shah - a status needed to operate an exchange in India. The loss of the designation meant neither FTIL nor Shah can run Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), India's biggest commodity bourse which has an average daily turnover of about Rs 240 billion, or about 77 per cent of the country's exchange commodities volumes. Scam led to adverse impact on the reputation of the MCX, which was founded by Shah.
After NSEL crisis broke out, which also raised concerns over corporate governance, SEBI nominated new public interest directors on MCX-SX board while some quit from the bourse's board.
On 19th March, 2014, Sebi directed Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies India to sell its shares in MCX-SX and other exchanges within 90 days on the ground that it did not meet the 'fit and proper' criteria required for a shareholder of an exchange.
The basis for Sebi's ruling was an earlier order by commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC), declaring FTIL not 'fit and proper' to hold more than 2% in commodity exchange MCX, because of its actions in managing troubled commodity spot exchange NSEL, which is facing a Rs.5,500-crore payment crisis. FTIL is the promoter of MCX and holds a 26% stake in it.
Capital markets regulator Sebi directed Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies India to sell its shares in MCX-SX and other exchanges within 90 days on the ground that it did not meet the 'fit and proper' criteria required for a shareholder of an exchange.
's ruling is an earlier order by commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC), declaring FTIL not 'fit and proper' to hold more than 2% in commodity exchange MCX, because o ..

Capital markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday directed Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies IndiaBSE 0.43 % to sell its shares in MCX-SX and other exchanges within 90 days on the ground that it did not meet the 'fit and proper' criteria required for a shareholder of an exchange.

The basis for Sebi's ruling is an earlier order by commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC), declaring FTIL not 'fit and proper' to hold more than 2% in commodity exchange MCX, because  ..

Capital markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday directed Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies IndiaBSE 0.43 % to sell its shares in MCX-SX and other exchanges within 90 days on the ground that it did not meet the 'fit and proper' criteria required for a shareholder of an exchange.

The basis for Sebi's ruling is an earlier order by commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC), declaring FTIL not 'fit and proper' to hold more than 2% in commodity exchange MCX, because  ..

Controversy over license to MCX-SX: 

Recently, CBI registered a preliminary enquiry against former Sebi chief C.B. Bhave, its former whole-time member K.M. Abraham, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) and Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) in connection with the grant of a licence to MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX), which first started operations in 2008 with its currency derivatives segment[2].

[1] In instances where urgent payments/receipts are to be processed, one-day value or even same-day value rates of exchange may be provided depending on currency cut-off times. It is also commonly known as ‘Spot Cover’.
[2] In 2012, MCX-SX started an equity trading platform as well after SEBI granted license for it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pen's Vision: the accident that made me happy.

I was neither happy to see any accident nor I was happy to listen to about it. But this was the sketch that I depicts what was going in my mind when I was getting bored in a conference. I just utilised the time and this accident occurred in my mind.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Must Watch (Today's special): Rang De Basanti

Corruption is like a virus in the entire system of a nation, that needs a strong anti-virus to deal with it. This movie, though not an anti-virus, but was a means to produce anti virus for the system of a nation affected by the virus of corruption. If any Indian movie that could ignite the spark of revolution or revamping the corruption-infected nation, it was RDB. Embracing the mechanism of peaceful non- violent protest (candle march) and later switching to the desired mode of violence, this movie proved to be a blend of ideals that could change the Indian system or rather the system of any corruption infected nation.
Just like others, I also support the killing of the corrupt official (and it will not be called murder or Hatya rather it becomes Vadh) on the ground that such practice sounds correct on the lines of the Benthamite principle of maximum pleasure of maximum people with minimum pain for least number of people.
Also, this movie is best suited for the Martyr's Day (23rd march, 1931) as it not only shows the sacrifices of our revolutionary heroes but also how it can be imbibed in the actions of the youth.
I like dialogue of the movie:
"Jeene ke do hi tareeke hote hain. Ya fir jo chal raha hai use chalne do. Ya use badal ke dikhaao" (there are two courses of living a life- either let the things go their way or change the course of happenings)
Lastly, the music of Rahmaan Saab  has never been such enthusiastic before. If the movie is a portrait, his music adds colour to it.

Behind Reel Facts (from iMDB):

  • A.R Rehman worked on the music of this film for three years.
  • India's official entry to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2007.
  • Shah Rukh Khan was the original pick to play DJ, but the shooting for the film was in Delhi, and Khan was forced to decline because he was shooting Paheli (2005) at the time, and did not want to conflict schedules.
  • The film was to be made both in Hindi and English versions. The English version was to be titled "Paint It Yellow". The plans for the English version were dropped subsequently.
  • The role played by Siddharth was also initially offered to Farhan Akhtar. But Farhan was not ready to act.
  • Aamir Khan was initially uncertain about taking on the role of DJ, as he was in his 40s and DJ was 25 years old Punjabi in the film. He eventually accepted, though, and hired a tutor to aid him in Punjabi speech and accents.
  • Rang De Basanti is based on a poem written by Dushyant Kumar.
  • Arjun Rampal was signed to do the film, but was irritated with director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's indecisiveness about what he wanted to do with the characters and the script. He called him "very confused" and "unprofessional" and dropped out. Arjun Rampal also stated his regret in even agreeing to do the film in that he lost a lot of good work in the three months he spent committed to it.
  • In India, the color of saffron represents sacrifice. When someone says, "Main rang de basanti", ("paint me saffron") it means that person is ready to be sacrificed for a great cause. saffron is also a predominant color in the movie.
  • Shah Rukh Khan was the original choice for Flight Lieutenant Ajay Rathod's character, but he couldn't do it owing to his busy schedule. This cameo turned out to be the best bet of Madhavan in his career in Bollywood.
  • Hrithik Roshan turned down the role of Karan (Siddharth).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pen's vision: my dream with priced possession.

This is my dream. I want to have a Mercedes and stand with it in the same pose as shown in this picture. This car was once the beauty of the Indian roads in 1980s till late 90s.

Pen's vision: Mission Impossible 4

Friends, this is a sketch drawn by me that depicts the scene of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) chasing the target. He uses the i-phone to track his location. Suddenly, the signal appears that the target is very close to him and look what happens.
Believe me, this sketch has been drawn by me after memorising the scene and not by looking at the screen of laptop while drawing it.

कुछ ऐसे अलविदा कहूँ

I dedicate this poem to a person, who came to know that soon he is going to die as he is at the last stage of cancer. He is in dilemma as to how should he treat his little bit left time of life.

भ्रम था कि मैं हूँ जी रहा 
ये ज़िन्दगी अपने लिए। 
पर ज़िन्दगी  मुझे जी रही थी 
अपना मकसद पाने के लिए। 
जो भ्रम है टूटा,
फ़िर मैं समझा,
कि मैं तो ज़रिया मात्र था,
मुस्कुराहटें लाने के लिए। 
जो  हो गया मकसद ये पूरा,
मुझको है बुलाती मौत अब 
किसी और के जीने के लिए। 

अब जो आंसू छलके तो,
इन आंसुओं में मैं दिखूं। 
न भुला सके ये दौर मुझे,
कुछ ऐसे अलविदा कहूँ। 
कुछ ऐसे अलविदा कहूँ।

कुछ रोज़ पहले हुआ ग़ुमान 
कि चंद लम्हे हैं बचे। 
इनको मैं कैसे जियूं,
ये बवाल अब फ़िर मचे। 
क्या मैं जियूं ख़ुद के लिए,
या फ़िर जियूं उनके लिए,
जिनकी सारी उम्मीदों ने  
हर कदम पे मेरा साथ दिए। 
जाना था दुनियां को देकर,
अपनी वो सारी दौलतें,
जिन्हें न कभी लुटा सका,
जो थी थोड़ी ही मोहलतें। 

धूल जमे मेरी कब्र पे,
पर यादों पे जमने न दूं। 
जीना चाहे मुझे ज़िन्दगी,
कुछ ऐसे अलविदा कहूँ।
कुछ ऐसे अलविदा कहूँ।

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nirbhaya: a play against violence on women.

NIRBHAYA was created in response to the violent gang rape and subsequent death of a Delhi medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey in December, 2012. "Nirbhaya" was the name given to Jyoti by the press as she lay fighting for her life in a hospital bed following her assault. It means "fearless."
NIRBHAYA is a play, but it also a call for societal change. In NIRBHAYA the play, the rape and death of Jyoti serves as the catalyst for each performer to bravely come forward and break their silence- recounting their own intimate and personal experiences of sexual and gender-based violence.
NIRBHAYA’S vision is to do nothing less than CHANGE THE WORLD by ending the silence on sexual violence and creating a fear-free society.
NIRBHAYA is written and directed by internationally acclaimed  writer/director Yael Farber, in collaboration with an extraordinary cast and creative team from India.
For more details visit Facebook Page -
Follow on Twitter @NirbhayaThePlay